Bad drivers to pay more

Mae Love
August 12, 2018

"Right now, the system is broken. It's only fair", said Eby in a statement.

"We want to modernize ICBC so that British Columbians pay according to their crash history, driving records and level of risk, and take responsibility for their driving habits".

One key change is that B.C. would move to a driver-based model from a vehicle-based insurance, so at-fault crashes are tied to the driver and not the auto owner.

Based on today's insurance rates, ICBC said 39 per cent of drivers would see up to a $50 annual payment reduction.

Increasing insurance discounts for drivers with up to 40 years of driving experience, up from the current limit of nine years. He said less-experienced drivers cause a disproportionate number of crashes and fatalities in B.C. and higher premiums better reflect their risks.

It's unclear, however, how this move could impact companies who rely on young drivers.

If approved by the BCUC, these changes will benefit an estimated two-thirds of ICBC's customers. The rest will pay more. She said B.C. drivers need to have a choice in auto insurance and a chance to actually save money. It said 17 per cent of drivers would see an increase of more than $100.

The other 33 per cent of drivers, however, could pay significantly more.

The proposed model means drivers with more years of experience and no at-fault crashes would see greater discounts.

The corporation would consider at-fault crashes that happened over the past 10 years - up from three - to help determine a driver's premium. That's going to be determined using current data, rather than the 10-year-old numbers the agency is now using. This figure could increase or increase depending on different factors.

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Surrey and Mission top the list with a per-capita cost of more than $1,300 a year.

The adjustments would take effect in September 2019, although some elements will not be fully implemented until 2027.

These numbers don't reflect where incidents that lead to claims are more likely to occur either.

After Thursday's announcement, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson argued that ICBC needed a "complete rework". More than 82 per cent of its 35,000 respondents said they felt risky drivers should pay more.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation said it agrees in principle with the revamping, but remains skeptical about the province's promise to ease the burden on good drivers.

"The changes will not increase the total funds that ICBC collects through basic policies, but instead will rebalance individual driver premiums and reset the way rates are determined".

Major changes are being proposed for ICBC as the crown corporation, once described by the Attorney General as a "dumpster fire", struggles to get out of the red.

Inexperienced drivers would also see a change to their premiums, according to Eby, inexperienced drivers pay less than the risk they represent.

In February, Eby introduced legislation to impose limits on soft-tissue injury payouts from vehicle accident claims that could save enough to cover soaring costs that led to the public insurer losing $1.3 billion in the last fiscal year.

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